Massachusetts Looks to Cost Saving Fix for Aging Prison Population
Massachusetts has a very strong aging population inside their prisons. Many have increasing problems with cemeteries because there are often no friends or family members willing or able to collect bodies. These unnamed cemetery plots are just one small fraction of the major cost of keeping a prisoner in captivity until they pass away. Massachusetts has one of the oldest prison populations in the entire nation and is looking to reduce the number of terminally ill or incapacitated inmates, which could save taxpayers millions of dollars. Legislation was recently signed by the governor in April that will allow the sickest inmates inside the prison system to be released if it can be proven that they are no longer a safety risk.
This makes Massachusetts one of the last states around the country to offer a program known as compassionate release. Legislation has also already been introduced, however, to prohibit inmate releases for those who are serving life sentences without the possibility of parole for first-degree murder. There are more than 375 elderly inmates who currently fit that definition. Prison advocates stepped forward to urge the state not to change the new law, although there have been arguments over whether or not it is in the best interests of the citizens of Massachusetts, whether or not it saves money.
Facing a long prison term might seem like there’s plenty of opportunities to get benefits like getting out for good behavior, but your best bet after being accused of a crime is not to wait for the future. It’s instead to contact a criminal defense lawyer who will do everything possible on your behalf to prevent you going to jail in the first place.
If you have recently been accused of a crime, it is imperative to realize that the stakes are very high if you are looking at a possible life in prison sentence without the possibility of parole. Scheduling a consultation with an experienced Massachusetts criminal defense attorney is strongly recommended.